Like all bullies, when they are put in their place they run and hide, then come back again
I spent a few years of my career in the security profession. It started out simply enough with tending bar but as I was also the biggest guy on staff, I was required to deal with problematic clientele. What I remember from my bouncing days is that bullies are all bark without the bite. I learned the more a jerk ran his mouth, the less he had the ability to back it up. If two guys faced off in front of the bar and one was flapping his lips and the other was just standing there, you could be sure the quiet guy would win the fight if it came to that.
Bullies don’t go away if you ignore them. That’s a myth. I grew up in various small towns as my family moved around a lot. Before a growth spurt in my late teens, I was a pretty small kid. So when I landed in a new town with no backup, I had a target on my back that drew bullies like iron filings to a magnet.
The only thing that makes bullies back down is standing up to them. And you have to do it again and again. There is no “one and done” type of situation. They will always circle back on you. They will always wait until you don’t expect them. They will certainly never go away. If you make one leave you alone, another will step up in to take his place. What you cannot do is let them intimidate you.
Getting into a shouting match is pointless, arguing is less than useless. Bullies are not there to reason, they want to subjugate you to their will. They will attempt to do so however they can; with words and threats, by showing you how many people are “on their side”, by using their position as your boss, manager or representative. They do not want to compromise, they want their way and their way only.
These days, the Republican Party is doing their best to bully the nation. Just look at the mess Chris Christie is in. He prides himself on his tendency to get into the face of those who disagree with him. There are plenty of clips online showing him doing just that. That’s why his Bridge-gate scandal is so plausible, everyone can see how this guy would do something so hurtful to a community out of spite. That’s how bullies roll.
But what happens when this gets exposed? Christie goes on an apology tour, claiming he knew nothing of this mess, repeatedly exhorting that he is not a bully. In short, he’s running scared. There are no heroic bullies. The people who stand up to them are the ones to be admired. Christie has been in a tailspin ever since he has been outed as a villain.
There are those who say critics should let up on Christie. In answer, I would remind people about Rand Paul. The Kentucky Senator who’s become infamous for plagiarizing Wikipedia. He also famously told a group of medical students in October of 2013, “I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important.” Paul advocated the firing of those who lie in the past, so by his own logic, he should lose his own job.
Oh sure, there was blow-back. Like a classic bully, Rand whined that he would leave politics. He expressed a desire to “duel” his opponents. Classic bully behavior. Although he did lie low for a little while, there was Rand Paul, figuring into the Government Shutdown. He went on “Meet the Press” after that to misdirect the blame for this to President Obama. He was soundly rebuffed by Savannah Guthrie, so Paul ran tucked and ran back to Fox News. That is until Paul could talk to David Gregory. Knowing he wouldn’t be stiffly challenged by Gregory, Paul went on a diatribe about Monica Lewinsky in an attempt to portray Hillary Clinton in a negative light. He took a little flack for it, but it too fell away quickly.
A couple weeks later and Rand Paul has come back with a questionable lawsuit against the President. His case wrongfully names Obama when the NSA issue traces back to The Patriot Act. The suit is redundant as there is another pending, and the whole thing is only meant to keep himself relevant to the news cycle anyway.
Here is a prime example of why we cannot ignore bullies. If we do not come down hard enough, they will just keep coming back and back and back again. Rand Paul is already an admitted plagiarist and by his own word, spreads misinformation as a tactic. He deserves the same kind of raking over the coals that Christie is getting. If you let up on him, Paul will just come right back with half-true allegations to smear his rivals with.
Don’t let tough talk scare you. Call bullies on their rhetoric. They will scream and demand apologies only to immediately repeat their repugnant behavior. Republicans have proven over and over again that they love to dish it out but can’t take it. For examples, look to Christie, Paul, Sarah Palin, and Sean Hannity, just to name a few.
The picture to the right was posted on a Facebook page run by right wing trolls who named it after a deceased insect. No I will not link you to the page. I will not give them any of the free publicity they crave with these tactics.
Look at the comments underneath the picture. They are just letting the racism flow freely. Then I show up, encouraging the conservatives posting racist comments to continue because I am taking screenshots of them doing so.
A couple of them quickly attack me. One lady says that her racial hatred is justified because she can’t stand Obama’s policies.
But a funny thing happened here. When I said the thread would be saved in screenshots, the comments slowed down tremendously. Many commenters making multiple racist statements suddenly shut up. The thread, which had been going a mile a second with disgusting remarks, crawled to a stop. The thread remained stalled until the owner of the page finally saw my comments and proceeded to delete and ban me. Then, what do you know, the thread picked up steam again, racist comments continuing unabated.
This wasn’t smart of them as it gave me, and now you, a good look at conservative bullying. The main argument used in their case, I can hear it now, is freedom of speech. To that I say that freedom of speech does not save you from consequences of what you say. One only needs to look at the recent ratings drop of Duck Dynasty to see that. But more tellingly, if freedom of speech is so important, then why can’t these bullies handle opinions other than their own? If you shine a light on them, they will scurry away like the insect adorning their favorite fan page.
I should state that my point here is not to say that all conservatives are racist. But there is a heavy contingency of the ignorant and bigoted in the Tea Party and the GOP proper. This one fanpage has well over 300K “likes” and it is not even the biggest one. It certainly isn’t alone. And to whom does this hateful page link? The Tea Party. Rand Paul. Sarah Palin. Fox News.
Instead, my point is to re-iterate that we should not apologize to these Republican bullies when their reprehensible behavior will not stop. They will continue to clamp down on women’s rights , LGBT Americans, and whatever else fits their agenda. Republican supporters will flood the polls in the Mid-Terms later this year. They are counting on you to not show up and stop them. That’s how bullies gain power after all, and that’s how they keep it.
Everytime more people turn out to vote, the GOP loses elections. When we do not vote, the bullies win. Don’t let the 2010 Tea Party Tidal Wave happen again. It has been disastrous to the country. We will all be better off by making these Republican bullies sit back down. Don’t let them scare you, they are actually afraid of you and they know we can beat them. Let’s do so.
“The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” ~ Rosa Parks